|“||Let me introduce you to my good friend Madame Fist!||„|
Ashley Funicello Spinelli or simply Spinelli as she prefers, is one of the main characters in Disney's Recess. Spinelli is one of T.J. Detweiler's regular friends, she is the school's resident tough girl and proud of it. She likes beating people up but dislikes bullies and pick fights specifically with people who try to start a fight with her, her friends or innocent children. Spinelli refrains from using her first name as she does not want to be associated with the "Ashleys", a group of girls who use their common first-name as an excuse to form a social clique dedicated to elitism and snobbery.
She watches wrestling and is known as the toughest kid on the playground. She is stubborn, obstinate and frequently uses violence or threats when something is troubling her. She hates talking about her parents because they embarrass her all the time. Spinelli's parents are infamous for telling her friends about her feelings or showing them her childhood photos. She also is intending to keep up with the latest trend, as revealed in "Schoolworld" when she says she likes the SAL-3000 for being new, and in "Weekend at Muriel's" when Ms. Finster, having turned on the car radio on the way to the latter's house, says that "everyone likes the oldies", and Spinelli says, "Actually, I like the newies." She is implied to have a crush on T.J. Detweiler. She is the most aggressive and antagonistic kid in the gang. The other Recess gang members are not exempted from this kind of treatment from Spinelli.
Relationships with the other members of the gang
Mikey and Spinelli are polar opposite; Mikey is large and peaceful while Spinelli is small and more violent, Mikey's sincerity and calm demeanor sometimes get in the way with Spinelli's attitude; the two share a rare moment of friendship in the episode "Dance Lessons", where Spinelli puts aside her tough attitude for Mikey's sake. She also was ready to defend Mikey when Randall made jokes about him in "Stand Up Randall"; which Mikey appreciated but said it wasn't necessary.
Being the only two girls in the group Gretchen and Spinelli are very close; Gretchen was Spinelli's first choice to go with her to the museum in "More Like Gretchen", and their friendship goes through a rough patch in the middle of the episode with a confused Gretchen. But Gretchen helps make things better between Spinelli and her parents; Gretchen also invited Spinelli to go with her in the "Young Adventurer's Fair" ("Bad Hair Day"); Spinelli helped Gretchen in her campaign in "The Candidates" as her assistant, they also shared revenge against T.J. in "My Funny Valentines" when he gave them both fake valentine's cards from him.
Both Vince and Spinelli are considered T.J.'s Right Hand. They are good friends but don't interact as much as they do with other members of the gang.
Main article: T.J. and Spinelli's relationship Throughout the course of the series; T.J. has been shown to have a crush on Spinelli, and vice versa. Many episodes have moments where he wraps his arm around her shoulders; or puts a hand on her shoulder, for usually no real reason at all just to show his affections towards her. In "More Like Gretchen" he even tells Spinelli "My heart goes out to you"; which semi-confirms his affections; and on many occasions Spinelli has returned these affections, Also on parent/teacher day her mother even comments that Spinelli told her that T.J. is the boy she has a crush on.
Spinelli and Gus don't interact often but are shown to care for each other in a number of episodes; Spinelli is shown to bully him for being a weak and a Scaredy cat, like in 'A Genius Among Us". She said "How can I get this Ball into the hands of someone I can smear", before handing to the ball to Gus, then chasing him.
Her immediate family includes her father Robert ("Bob"), her mother Florence ("Flo"), and her big older brother Joseph ("Joey"); who has been mentioned by Spinelli here and there through out the show but has never made an appearance at all. Spinelli also mentioned something about having an uncle named Manfred ("Manny"); and a cousin named Gordon ("Gordo") in two separate episodes, but they were of course never spoken of again nor shown at all in the show. Spinelli's parents were voiced by Katey Sagal and Sam McMurray. They have a tendency to embarrass their daughter in public. It is shown in the episode Parents' Night that her parents are both secret agents. It is a fact unknown to all the other characters. It is revealed in the episode Weekend at Muriel's that Spinelli's grandmother 'Angie' and Miss Finster were good friends "Back in Guam". As a result Muriel is a family friend, and the perfect choice to babysit Spinelli.
Spinelli is small in size and light in weight; and before Gus’s arrival she was the shortest of the main group; now she‘s the second. She is shown to be tomboyishly beautiful, with a petite slender figure with shoulder length raven black hair and chocolate brown eyes, plus pink full lips and olive colored skin. Her outfit consists of a light orange cotton ski cap upon her head; her hair up in pig-tails on either side each held by a small red hair tie. She wears an unzipped opened black leather biker jacket over a red cotton knee length shirt dress with short sleeves and around neck line, a pair of light orange stockings with thin red stripes on them, and finally a pair of over sized black rubber biker boots with buckles on them that were hand-me-downs from her older brother. In the original pilot version of The Break In, Spinelli was smaller and had her hair in multiple pigtails, She also wore a pale yellow t-shirt, tan overalls, and dark brown shoes. In her adult years, she will grow up to be 5 feet 6 inches tall.
- Spinelli's character was inspired by some girl the creators knew in college.
- Spinelli's ethnicity is Italian.
- Spinelli share common ground to Hawkgirl (from the DCAU Justice League) in ways
- Both are short-tempered,have an aggressive M.O; and are known to the the back-bone member of their group.
- Both have feelings for a male member of their group (TJ for Spinelli and John Stewart for Hawkgirl); the two also shared a kiss with them.
- Both have shown moments of softness and feminine side (usually around their love interest).
- Both have one other female member in their group (Gretchen for Spinelli and Wonder Woman for Hawkgirl).
- Both have kept a big secret from everyone, which everyone eventually finds out later in the series:
- Spinelli's first name: "Ashley", and her "embarrassing" parents.
- Hawkgirl for being an undercover agent for the Thanagarians and her engagement to Hro Talak.
- Spinelli also share traits with Rogue and X-23 from the X-Men series, part of the Marvel Universe.
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